Jimmy Smith Jr., played by Eminem, aims to land a music deal in "8 Mile."

The following is a preview of movies opening Friday:

"8 Mile" -- Producers of this urban drama starring rapper Eminem insist it is not the Slim Shady story. "I never wanted to do a biopic," says producer Brian Grazer ("A Beautiful Mind"). "I wanted to make a movie that covered our understanding of hip-hop, and (to do that), you need a point of view. I thought Eminem could bring that."

Grazer drafted "The Mod Squad" screenwriter Scott Silver to come up with a story line that would parallel the rapper's rough-and-tumble background from Detroit.

Director Curtis Hanson ("L.A. Confidential" and "Wonder Boys") took to the script, which follows one week in the life of Jimmy, a talented freestyler whose dreams of escaping his damaged hometown are stymied by his commitment to the streets and to his mom (a deglamorized Kim Basinger). Support comes from Alex (Brittany Murphy), a fellow dreamer who serves as Jimmy's muse.

Hanson put Eminem through a six-week rehearsal period, during which he rotated in other cast members. "I've worked with novices before, but not in a starring role," says Hanson. "He knew literally nothing about the process. But he's the definition of the term 'quick study.'" (R)

"Femme Fatale" -- Director Brian De Palma calls this "a sexy noir thriller that plays with your head." Uma Thurman was originally slated to star as the hotcha thief Laure Ash before bowing out due to her pregnancy, so Rebecca Romijn-Stamos ("X-Men") stepped in at the ninth hour. Her character becomes involved with a paparazzi photographer (Antonio Banderas) when she returns to the scene of the crime in Paris, where she's also chased by her irate former partners.

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